One problem that I see is that Minor Attracted People (MAPs) are poorly understood in society because they don’t have a voice. We know we have same rights as anyone else but very few dare to publicly argue for those rights, even when they are blatantly trampled all over. A recent forum post asked why don’t MAP’s publicly protest when their rights are violated, something which happens all too frequently.
Perhaps you’re not a MAP but try to imagine that you were. What if you were refused a job working at a local restaurant because the owner found out your sexuality. You need that job to support your family and you know there’s no practical reason why being a MAP would make you a bad waiter, would you fight knowing that it could mean wide disclosure and more problems if you did? Perhaps you’re harassed by a police officer who could let slip at any time to the local community that you’re a MAP? These are some very simple examples but MAPs know that while things are bad they can get much worse so most simply keep their heads down and pray they are allowed to lead a good and normal life.
So at its core I feel MAPs should be respected and protected no more or less than anyone else in society. Sexuality alone should have no bearing on how someone is treated by other people or the State. If nothing else, treating others how we wish to be treated is morally the right thing to do.
As well as fear, another reason MAPs rarely stand up for themselves is that we have such a diverse range of views on so many topics relating to the MAP sexuality. Ask a question in a MAP support forum on anything relating to our sexuality and you’ll receive a complete spectrum of responses which makes it difficult for people to organise into groups who could support each other and campaign effectively.
Is it right to have an age of consent and if so, what should it be?
Is sex with a child always morally wrong? If so then what makes it wrong? Is it more wrong at some ages? Is it more wrong if related or responsible for a child like a teacher? Is it wrong if it’s two people who both feel in love or if its two people just having sex for fun and both express all the signs of enjoyment?
If sex is wrong, what about relationships in general? Friendships if the adult is a paedophile? Celibate lovers?
What about child erotica in pictures or stories or if an underage lover shared pictures with another child or an adult lover? What if they are nude? What if they are clothed but one person is a paedophile?
What about paedophiles working with kids? Paedophile parents or foster parents?
What if a paedophile is celibate, doesn’t socialise with kids and just leads a normal life, should they be treated any differently?
and so on and so on and so on. All complex questions with a wide range of views from MAPs and non-MAPs but rarely are they discussed outside of MAP support communities. The public isn’t interested and only perks up when there’s a story involving child molestation in the headline, often not by a MAP but still the blame is always pinned to them. Child molestation where a child is abused for the gratification of an adult horrorfies most MAPs as it horrorfies most non-MAPs. Perhaps it horrorfies MAPs even more since MAPs have such a deep sense of love and care towards children so hearing such stories is doubly heart breaking.
Over the years I’ve learned that most of what’s in the press is garbage when it comes to discussing MAPs / paedophiles. It’s become an emotive word used to generate horror in the readership much like racial terms about black people were once used to shock and scare white western readers. Once people took the time to meet and communicate with people of other races the ridiculous stereotypes crumbled and society became enriched and stronger for it. The same will happen some day with MAPs and all other sexualities when people stop using their prejudices to divide and control people.
For the record I think humans including children are too complex to just pigeon hole. To say there are magic age lines where things suddenly go from immoral to moral is ridiculous, you might as well say the whole world is made of straight lines. Equally to say all relationships that span an imaginary line involve one partner who is evil is frankly just as ridiculous, such views belong in the 15th century with the Spanish Inquisition. It’s just lazy law making and politics to avoid having to deal with issues involving children. Everyone worries for kids, everyone wants to protect kids, everyone wants kids to be happy and well educated and well adjusted but this idea that all kids are the same, they’re just kids and should be raised in a cookie cutter fashion to produce uniform adults is nonsense and highly disrespectful of kids. Kids should be given more respect and credit, should be more individually nurtured and they shouldn’t be constrained with views stamped on as soon as they stop fitting the cookie cutter mould. That’s not to say laws should be broken but laws should exist to protect the complex and unique lives of all people in society and should not exist to simply constrain peoples views and crush all descent. So I feel the laws need to change, should protect the rights and interests of children even more but should not be used to herd children and adults and consider all relationships and people as evil when they deviate from the state’s design.